What would happen if you went back? Back to who you were before the world stripped away at you. Before the circumstances and consequences made you harder, less-forgiving, less-innocent and more dangerous to yourself.
Do you even remember who you were before then? When you were playful, happy, trusting and excited to just be alive?
It’s been a while, huh?
You Lost Yourself
Life can be tough, no one promised it would be easy, and they were right not to because no matter who you are, or where you’re from, you’ve experienced suffering greater than any physical pain could ever be – you’ve experienced spiritual pain.
The pain of losing someone. The pain of abandonment. The pain of abuse. The pain of loneliness…
That kind of pain doesn’t just come and go. It leaves a lasting impact. It does something to us, changes us, sometimes to the point where we are unrecognisable.
You might have looked the same on the outside but deep in the depths of your being something was suddenly gone. Before you knew it, you had lost yourself.
All with Good Intention
When you felt excruciating spiritual pain, your natural reaction was to attempt to stop it from ever returning.
As a coping mechanism, you would have created a shield of protection around your inner spirit, and in the process, the really innocent, beautiful light within you, got shut away. Your perception of your inner spirit was also altered; you began to look down on it and saw it as weak, immature, boring. All with good intention, of course.
When you lost a part of yourself, you gained other parts; you became sheltered, cautious, skeptical, unforgiving, pessimistic. You also became more daring, but not the kind where bravery could serve you greatly, more the type that became risky to your very livelihood; drink, drugs, dark stuff… forms of escapism.
At the time this protection served a purpose. But what about now? Is it helping you or is it a hindrance?
The point of healing is not to become a new and refreshed version of yourself; the point of healing is to regain yourself. To go back. Back to who you were before tragedy struck, before you lost yourself. And it is entirely possible. It’s been done by many people before you, and you can heal too.
You might be reading this with a feeling of uneasiness about becoming yourself again. You might be scared. But that’s not you talking; it’s the protective shield doing the job it was created to do.
Your inner light – the purest part of you – wants nothing more than to shine in your life. Going back to your truest self is going home. It’s where you are meant to be. Who you are meant to be. Where you belong.
Unravelling the Layers
Perhaps you are at the point right now where you are ready to go back…
Well, know this: it takes time; each protective layer that was applied needs to be delicately unpicked until all that is left is love and light.
Unravelling the layers means forgiving, yourself and others. It means accepting what happened and being willing to let it go.
It means being accountable for where you are now and what needs to happen. Accountability isn’t always easy; no one wants to admit their wrongs, or admit they are in a bad place, but I can tell you that accountability is your friend – you gain power when you hold your hands up, when you admit there’s a problem, when you surrender. It’s in that place of ownership where the shift happens.
You have to be willing to become softer. To be vulnerable, to let people in. To let yourself in. Not on the surface, but deep within. Into the true you. And by the way, vulnerability doesn’t make you weak, it makes you brave, and helps open up connection with other people. It’s a way of saying “here I am, show me you”.
You have to be open to loving yourself again. To not criticising and beating yourself up. You have to be willing to give yourself a break – both physically and mentally when needed. You have to be willing to look at yourself and like what you see, not because someone else tells you they like something in you – but because you see it with your own eyes.
Lastly, you have to find your love for life again. A love that doesn’t entail escapism but instead is satisfied just with the simplest joys of life. Finding gratitude for opening your eyes each morning. Being grateful for each step you take. Finding gratitude for the chance to heal.
It’s one heck of a journey. It can be really tough at times but incredibly rewarding at others. The journey itself is the most enlightening part of it all; so don’t worry about getting to the destination. Just take each step, each day as it comes. And enjoy the process!
Stephanie is a professional writer, blogger and the co-founder of Soul Analyse.
While she always tries to live in the moment, she feels it's equally important to look back at past experiences with open eyes to connect the missing dots and work out what we can learn for the future. She uses writing as a way to share her story with others in the hope that her past experiences can help someone else moving forward. She's also keen to gain knowledge from others' experiences and believes we can learn a great deal from one another!